Down On the Border

Obama met with the press about the problem we are currently having in the border states:

President Barack Obama spoke Wednesday in Texas about the immigration crisis, urging Congress to approve his request for $3.7 billion in emergency spending.

“The problem here is not a major disagreement around the actions that could be helpful in dealing with the problem. The challenge … is Congress prepared to act to put the resources in place to get this done?” Obama asked during a stop in Dallas.

“Are folks more interested in politics or are they more interested in solving the problem?”

The trip to the Lone Star State includes Democratic Party fundraising events, and after some political squabbling, a meeting with Republican Gov. Rick Perry, who greeted Obama at the airport in Fort Worth after originally declining such an encounter.

They shook hands and then boarded Obama’s helicopter for Dallas, where they met with faith leaders and local officials to discuss options for responding to the influx of young immigrants illegally entering the country.

When asked by a reporter to address those who say he should visit the border to witness the immigration crisis firsthand, the President said he wasn’t interested in photo ops.

“There’s nothing that is taking place down there that I am not intimately aware of and briefed on. This isn’t theater. This is a problem,” he said.

It’s really a sad indictment of the Republican House that even in times of urgent crisis, we can’t expect the teahadists to do the right thing and the President basically has to go in front of cameras and beg them to act. It’s just pathetic. And the worst is yet to come- while Glenn Beck may be heading down there to hand out food and soccer balls and promote himself, I guaran-god-damn-tee it that someone will decide they need to come out to the right of Rick Perry and call him a RINO for asking for federal help. You just know it.

Who will be the first to call any money appropriated to be more wasteful Obama spending?

64 replies
  1. 1
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    “Are folks more interested in politics or are they more interested in solving the problem?”

    A rhetorical question if ever I heard one.

  2. 2
    askew says:

    I love that Obama mentioned that Perry asked him to resolve the problem by Executive Order but he couldn’t because Boehner was suing him. He’s going to rip the GOP in two.

  3. 3
    Baud says:

    @askew:

    Hahahahaha! That’s awesome. I’ll need to find the video.

  4. 4
    raven says:

    Rachel just had a piece with him in a bar in Denver where there was a lot of grab ass going on. A young lady came up and told him her brother was killed in Afghanistan. He had a nice talk with her, asked how she and her folks were doing. It was a nice moment.

  5. 5
    efgoldman says:

    Who will be the first to call any money appropriated to be more wasteful Obama spending?

    Trick question, there won’t be any money appropriated, unless the TeaHadis get their pound of offset flesh. Food stamps? Unemployment? SCHIP? They’ll want to eviscerate something.

  6. 6
    Zam says:

    Trick question, there won’t be any money appropriated, unless the TeaHadis get their pound of offset flesh. Food stamps? Unemployment? SCHIP? They’ll want to eviscerate something.

    The spending not existing has never stopped these guys from complaining about it as if it did before.

  7. 7
    another Holocene human says:

    This crisis didn’t start yesterday. I find it very suspicious that another panic involving immigrants is being whipped up now, and if the admin took actions that played into this timing, they’re idiots. Though more likely they had no control over this being the rw shiny object.

    This crap is about motivating the gop base. I can only hope for a slew fund of arrests and indictments of Bundy and his crowd o demotivate the violent crazee.

  8. 8
    raven says:

    @efgoldman: Rachel is also pointing put that not a motherfucking dime has been appropriated for Vets issues since the big goddamn “crisis”. yawn

  9. 9
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @askew:

    That’s wonderful! Dogs, but I love this president!!!

  10. 10
    p.a. says:

    Ashamed to admit I only know the very basics of this story, but if these kids are alone, how are they getting here from Honduras and Guatemala on their own? I know the refugee situation in Nicaragua Costa Rica Panama is bad, but that’s understandable as they’re neighboring or nearby countries. It’s a long trek through Mexico to the US.

  11. 11
    NotMax says:

    It will be labeled “Obamafare” in 3… 2… 1…

  12. 12
    Cervantes says:

    It’s really a sad indictment of the Republican House that even in times of urgent crisis, we can’t expect the teahadists to do the right thing

    On the contrary, it’s really no surprise that Republicans fail to do the right thing, especially in times of crisis.

  13. 13
    askew says:

    While I am happy that Obama is pushing back on the GOP, I am upset that he is planning on deporting all those kids. They really should be treated as refugees not undocumented and be given asylum. There is no future for them in their home countries as the murder rate is so high and so many are living horrible poverty.

  14. 14
    Patricia Kayden says:

    Surprised by the Beck link.

  15. 15
    efgoldman says:

    @Cervantes:

    it’s really no surprise that Republicans fail to do the right thing, especially in times of crisis.

    Hell, some of these klowns refused to vote for disaster aid for their own fucking states and districts.
    It’s not that long ago that no congresscritter would dare do something like that, unless s/he was planning on retirement.

  16. 16

    I just found out that these child migrants are supposed to represent themselves in front of an immigration judge in their own deportation proceedings.

  17. 17
    John Revolta says:

    “I am aware of all immigrant extraditions.”

  18. 18
    Mr Stagger Lee says:

    @another Holocene human: I wonder if President Obama did ever humor these nitwits, cracked down on immigration,how fast would we hear the howls of the business wing of the GOP,screaing about their loss of cheap labor?

  19. 19

    @Mr Stagger Lee: He should crack down on businesses that use these workers. Then the GOP will howl in protest.

  20. 20
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @askew: Under international law, people must be fleeing their home country due to a well founded fear of persecution to be classified a refugees and covered under the various treaties that apply. Fleeing crime or poverty does not qualify someone as refugee. Once the people are here, they are legally entitled to a hearing to determine their status, but that is it.

  21. 21
    Suffern ACE says:

    @askew: I’m not certain what assylum would do. Who is going to take care of them. They are minors. Do we have to find foster parents for them? That isn’t easy. We would like to think that there are ten of thousands of people out there who want to take them in, but I’m not certain that would be the case.

    I still am not certain why in the past year so many more kids are coming. I know, gangs and poverty, but that has been the case for a long time. Have the gangs just changed tactics? Discovered that you can make money extorting parents by threatening to kill their kids if they don’t agree to pay to send them to Belize or the US?

  22. 22
    Kay says:

    Does this matter, at all, or are we going to have a another completely fake national “debate” moderated by Sarah Palin?

    It was one of the final pieces of legislation signed into law by President George W. Bush, a measure that passed without controversy, along with a pension bill and another one calling for national parks to be commemorated on quarters.
    “This is a piece of legislation we’re very proud to sign,” a White House spokesman, Tony Fratto, told reporters on Dec. 23, 2008, as the president put his pen to the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008, named for a 19th-century British abolitionist. “This program has been very effective around the world in trying to stop trafficking in persons.”
    Now the legislation, enacted quietly during the transition to the Obama administration, is at the root of the potentially calamitous flow of unaccompanied minors to the nation’s southern border.

    I agree with the law. I’m glad they passed it. But since everyone backed it when it passed you would think there would be some accountability.

  23. 23
    mai naem says:

    I’m just wondering how some uneducated little kid is going to know his parents full names and where he’s from? I might sound like I was a stupid kid, but I seriously don’t remember when I knew what my parents names were and my parents names were relatively unusual. If these kids’ parents names are Jose and Maria Garcia, I am guessing there’s literally more than a million couples whose names are Jose and Maria Garcia.

  24. 24
    Cervantes says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: To wit:

    Each child [in this lawsuit — Cervantes] has attempted to find representation through pro bono legal service providers, but none of them have found anyone with the resources to take on their cases. Absent this Court’s intervention, these children will be forced to defend themselves pro se under the immigration laws – a legal regime that, as the courts have recognized, rivals the Internal Revenue Code in its complexity.

    […] Although a remarkable network of pro bono service providers, working in concert with (and in some cases funded directly by) the Government, has endeavored to represent as many of these children as possible, the majority of children appearing in immigration court still do so without an attorney. At the present time, legal service organizations representing immigrant children throughout the country have nowhere near the capacity to meet the demand. The rising number of children fleeing to this country will likely worsen that shortfall. The Government, in contrast, is represented in every case.

  25. 25
    Belafon says:

    @Mr Stagger Lee: He’s deported more people than any other president. Yet they still claim he’s not securing the border.

  26. 26
    Alex says:

    The strangest thing about all of this is the loud insistence that Obama really needs to do a photo op.

  27. 27
    Skerry says:

    @raven: He gave the woman a presidential coin too. I hope she has the opportunity to use it.

  28. 28
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @Alex:

    The strangest thing about all of this is the loud insistence that Obama really needs to do a photo op.

    To your eyes, sure. But to people who don’t actually have any interest in governing and simply interested in posturing and power, it makes a lot of sense. Just be thankful that you aren’t one of them.

  29. 29
    Skerry says:

    @Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name): Not just international law. 2008 law signed by Bush guarantees these protections too.

    ETA: Kay said it better.

  30. 30
    naklua says:

    “do not let them win by you being cynical”

    –B. Obama

    Can always count on wr0ng way Cole to take the wr0ng way when you present him with a fork in the road.

    *Wr0ng way Cole is just oh so cynical about the majority makeup of SCOTUS when HE infact voted for that…twice!
    *Wr0ng way Cole is oh so cynical about the the Iraq neocons coming out again when HE in fact voted for that….twice!
    *Wr0ng way Cole is so cynical because HE is the poster child of what Conservatives winning looks like.
    *Wr0ng way Cole was against the ACA before he was for it. In fact he was right there with FDL idiots saying “single payer or I’m not voting” . Everyone remember that. I sure do.

    *Wr0ng way Cole thinks grifters like Greenwald are awesome.

    *Wr0ng way Cole thinks fat bastard Khristie is awesome.

    *Wr0ng way Cole is always the first in line to say, “lets just give up and not vote”. If I didn’t think he was a moron I would think it was all part of his evil plan. In reality it’s just him reacting EXACTLY the way Republicans want him to. Almost they do is designed to demoralize Democrats and energize Republicans.

    Don’t be a wr0ng way Cole!

  31. 31
    Kay says:

    @Cervantes:

    Immigration lawyers get hit up all the time for advice. We’re always asking them for help. We have to turn to Cleveland because they practice in bigger places. They’re really pretty generous if we have a kid, will take a couple of questions thru exchanging emails, but they have to draw the line or they’d all be working for free.

    It’s a mess, and we only deal with immigration issues maybe once or twice a year.

  32. 32

    @schrodinger’s cat: Listen to this piece on NPR today and you will think we are seriously a third world nation ourselves. Or LDC. Whatever we are calling them these days.

  33. 33
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @Skerry: I was just speaking to the suggestion that the kids get official refugee status. that status is far more limited than many people would expect.

    @Kay: I have done some immigration and refugee work in the past. On the refugee side, one cannot make a living at it. Everything I did was effectively pro bono. I am not complaining, but unless one is doing business related immigration work, one works only for personal satisfaction and human rights. That doesn’t pay the bills.

  34. 34
    Kay says:

    @Suffern ACE:

    I think to understand some of what happened and how it happened on this end, the US side, (the other end is more complicated) you have to look at it within the context of human trafficking which was a focus of former President Bush – and is a focus of a lot of other religious people, too. There’s nothing wrong with that, it’s just that it’s a real movement, anti-trafficking, which is why I’m bewildered (as usual!) by the GOP response. They know this. They all know it. Gonzales talked it up constantly.

    The partnership, known as “justice AmeriCorps,” is a grant program that will enroll approximately 100 lawyers and paralegals as AmeriCorps members to provide legal services to the most vulnerable of these children, responding to Congress’ direction to DOJ’s Executive Office for Immigration Review “to better serve vulnerable populations such as children and improve court efficiency through pilot efforts aimed at improving legal representation.” In addition, DOJ officials believe the AmeriCorps members will help identify unaccompanied immigrant children who have been victims of human trafficking or abuse to assist in the investigation and prosecution of those who perpetrate such crimes on those children.

    http://www.justice.gov/eoir/pr.....62014.html

  35. 35
    Kay says:

    @Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name):

    I can’t imagine how many requests they get.

    We do the best we can in the county court when we encounter an issue and basically stall and tell the county judges “we need more research” and find a lawyer in Cleveland who will help.

    I have to keep them so I don’t take advantage of them :) Four free emails, tops!

  36. 36
    Violet says:

    @Kay:

    But since everyone backed it when it passed you would think there would be some accountability.

    Kay, your optimism when it comes to the Republican party is always so lovely to see. You expect them to own what they do and be accountable for it. That’s not how the modern Republican party behaves.

    @Kay:

    it’s just that it’s a real movement, anti-trafficking, which is why I’m bewildered (as usual!) by the GOP response.

    Don’t waste your time and energy being bewildered. Just remember cleek’s law: “Today’s conservatism is the opposite of what liberals want today, updated daily.” Anything President Obama wants or even what they think he wants they’re against.

  37. 37
    Cassidy says:

    Has Greenwald written about immigration? Has he told Ballon Juice what its opinion is, yet?

  38. 38
    David Koch says:

    Wanna know what’s hilarious: Governor Perry told the President today to forget about Congress and use Executive Action.

    No really.

  39. 39
    Kay says:

    @Violet:

    I heard one of them on the radio today “we could send them all home first class for what President Obama wants” and I thought “but what about our deeply held conservative beliefs about human trafficking?”

    God almighty. Even when they act like decent people they have to renounce that impulse and pretend it never happened.

    I think we’ll hear more about it in the coming days because it’s sort of an “elite” religious issue – my sense was it was never rank and file US religious people. It’s all university people and lawyers. They’re Right-leaning, though. We have a big company here that was founded by Mennonites and they’re big into it.

  40. 40
    askew says:

    @Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name):

    @askew: Under international law, people must be fleeing their home country due to a well founded fear of persecution to be classified a refugees and covered under the various treaties that apply. Fleeing crime or poverty does not qualify someone as refugee. Once the people are here, they are legally entitled to a hearing to determine their status, but that is it.

    So, there’s not really any recourse for these kids? Sending them home is pretty much a death sentence with the high murder rate in their home countries. It seems like there has to be an alternative to sending children to an almost certain death.

  41. 41
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @Kay: If I ever win the lottery or inherit a fortune from a distant relative, I want to devote my practice to voting rights and refugee cases.

  42. 42
    dmbeaster says:

    @p.a.:

    Kids have been making that trek by the thousands for years. That part of the story is old.

  43. 43
    Kay says:

    @Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name):

    Good. Win the lottery first.

    It’s like when the mask drops down on the airplane, Omnes. “You must take it first before giving it to your child!” Or you’re no help to anyone, living in your car, as you will be :)

  44. 44
    David Koch says:

    Who will be the first to call any money appropriated to be more wasteful Obama spending?

    Did it yesterday, some wingnut named Goodlatte called “a slap in the face”. I guess he must of been watching Sidney Poitier famous scene from “In the Heat of the Night” on TCM

  45. 45
    Heliopause says:

    they met with faith leaders and local officials to discuss options for responding to the influx of young immigrants illegally entering the country.

    Why does this idiotic country always make things so difficult? If we have an unmanageable refugee problem just give these folks a call. I triple dog dare Obama to do this.

    I quadruple dog dare Obama to withdraw tacit support for the 2009 coup in Honduras, which turned it into the country with the “highest rate of intentional homicide in the world,” in part precipitating the li’l mess that Obama finds himself in today. If only he could have known that turning a blind eye to brutal mass murderers in a neighboring country would lead to political embarrassment down the road…

  46. 46
    Kay says:

    @David Koch:

    How much of this “secure the border” is about them wanting huge piles of money going to border security in their states? That’s gotta be an industry unto itself by now.

  47. 47
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @askew: They cannot claim refugee status. OTOH, they may qualify to come in under anti-trafficking laws. To be frank, though, under current law, they are not in a good position.

  48. 48
    dww44 says:

    @Alex: @Kay: Thanks, Kay, I learn so much from your posts and look forward to reading them. However, I think I can shed some insight on this:

    There’s nothing wrong with that, it’s just that it’s a real movement, anti-trafficking, which is why I’m bewildered (as usual!) by the GOP response. They know this. They all know it. Gonzales talked it up constantly.

    It’s simply because there’s a Democratic administration led by the nation’s first African American President and the GOP, aided and abetted by conservative media, has become so expert at keeping its base absolutely opposed to anything proposed by this President, they cannot honestly see a way to hoist themselves off their own petard. It would be funny if it didn’t have such dire consequences for so many people, including innocent little brown kids.

  49. 49
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @Heliopause: Please establish that these kids fit the definition of a refugee under the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, the 1967 Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees, or the Refugee Act of 1980. That is, how does the UNHCR have jurisdiction? Please be advised that I would be very pleased if they did,

  50. 50

    Some significant % of these kids have been trafficked and are therefore eligible for some relief (not a certificate of citizenship).

    In addition to the difficulties in finding the lawyers needed to provide the hearings, we also need to provide interpreters. Some of the kids speak Spanish as a 2nd language, particularly among the worst off from Guatemala.

    21 years ago I was an interpreter for a state bar project representing immigrant children, and our entire case load across CA was about 1800 teens. Many of them were runaways/throwaways from undocumented families whose parent(s) had discovered they were either gay or tricking (from certain countries of origin in Latin America, boys were better off with dad finding them taking money for a blowjob than giving one for love–it’s a crazy world, I tell ya).

    A handful of the older teens had made the trip alone or with cousins from back home, and virtually all of those cases had a pull factor: the boys (girls would never have been permitted to do this without a brother along) were heading to a father or uncle who was employed in California and had better opportunities as a custodial parent than mom back home in Antigua.

    This crisis is quite different.

    We’re gonna need a bigger, stronger foster care system. We’re gonna need more flexible child custody arrangements–to the extent that these children have been sent to join family members who are also undocumented, a harm-reduction approach is most appropriate to relieve human suffering.

  51. 51
    Mnemosyne says:

    @PhoenixRising:

    NPR has had surprisingly good coverage about this whole issue the past couple of weeks. A few days ago, they had a short piece about how many of the kids coming in speak one of the various Mayan languages and it’s really, really hard to find interpreters for them, because these are languages that maybe a few thousand people high in the mountains speak. And, yes, either they don’t speak Spanish at all or Spanish is their second or third language.

  52. 52
    AxelFoley says:

    @Heliopause:

    You’re a dumb bastard.

  53. 53
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @naklua: Who is this Wrong Way Cole of whom you speak? Never heard of him.

  54. 54
    Gorgon Zola says:

    Does Newt still count ? He was calling this more wasteful Obama spending about 5 hours before JC posted:

    Why is the Obama plan so expensive? Simple. Left-wing Democrats wake up every morning knowing the answer is bigger government and more money. They just don’t know what the question is.
    The border crisis is a new opportunity for Obama to create even bigger government, spending even more of our children’s money. In a rational world it would be an absurdity, but this is the world of Obama and Sen. Harry Reid, and nothing involving more spending and bigger government is absurd to them.

  55. 55
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @another Holocene human: shit, I meant “slow grind” not “slew fund” of arrests and indictments last night. Geez.

  56. 56
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @p.a.: Shit, have you ever read any 20th century survivor narratives from the Holocaust and WWII? Not only can determined teenagers make it thousands of miles (traveling in freight trains helps) but I’ve read narratives of survivors who literally escaped hundreds of miles as children.

  57. 57
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Cervantes: I thought we had an excess of lawyers?

    Oh yeah, I forgot, plenty of need for defenders, no funds. It’s more important to build Court Mahals and F365 reasons why we shouldn’t build this lunch money for defense contractors.

  58. 58
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Heliopause: Hilary Clinton was hip deep in that. One more reason I’m an anybody but Hilary for the primary voter. Fuck it, I’d vote for W$ whore and failed Newark Supermayor Cory [Name Forbidden].

  59. 59
    keestadoll says:

    @David Koch: You can look at that as hypocrisy (it is) or you can look at it as his using a trend President Obama has himself touted as a means to deal with many things since he first took office to actually deal with what’s happening with his phone and his pen. I also see it as Perry’s way of challenging Congress to act ahead of POTUS with regards to this issue on the TX border, although on that you have to question the need given that several members of congress [House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va) and House Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) and Rep. Joe Garcia (D-Fla.)] traveled to the Rio Grande Valley Sector to inspect the facilities. On that last though, “’They don’t want people to know what’s going on here, or for that matter anywhere, when it comes to the surge of illegal aliens and when [Congress] went to visit, the place was cleared out,’ said Cabrera, who is the vice president of the National Border Patrol Council’s Local 3077. ‘The night before the group of lawmakers arrived the senior supervisors loaded up a couple hundred people being held in the sally port and shipped them out to Laredo. If everything is so fine and dandy, why not let the lawmakers in just the way it is?’” Bottom line is, it’s a MESS and the governor, like him or loathe him, does want as many lights lit on the situation as he can get, and since he has been ostensibly brushed off for his want of National Guard presence http://www.reuters.com/article.....HZ20140703

  60. 60
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Another Holocene Human: Yep. It is possible to make the trek, and it seems to take a long time and involve getting involved in petty crime, but it is possible to make the trek, even with limited means.

  61. 61
    vtr says:

    Between the Elian Gonzalez situation in 2000, when the Clinton Administration wanted to follow the current law and deport the child to Cuba in spite of loud protests from the entire GOP, and the current immigration situation, what changed Republican attitudes to Hispanics coming to the U. S.?

  62. 62
    vtr says:

    Between the Elian Gonzalez situation in 2000, when the Clinton Administration wanted to follow the current law and deport the child to Cuba in spite of loud protests from the entire GOP, and the current immigration situation, what changed Republican attitudes to Hispanics coming to the U. S.?

  63. 63
    Thymezone says:

    Three billion dollars is around three cents per day per capita per year in the US.

  64. 64
    Thymezone says:

    That’s somewhere around twice what the US spends on cat litter per annum.

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